Turkey condemns 'terror', urges fight against Islamophobia

7th January 2015, Comments 0 comments

Turkey on Wednesday strongly condemned the "terrorist attack" that left 12 dead at a French satirical weekly on Wednesday, but said Europe should also fight against growing "Islamophobia".

"We offer our condolences to France, our friend and ally on this day of sadness," said President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, adding that he hoped the gunmen behind the Islamist attack would be brought to justice "as soon as possible".

In a statement, he urged the world to "stand up against terrorist acts like the one committed in France, against tensions caused by intolerance towards diversity".

The Turkish leader regularly denounces what he sees as the rise of Islamophobia in European countries, calling the trend "a serious threat" as recently as Tuesday.

Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said there was no link between Islam and violence as he condemned the "terrorist attack" on Charlie Hebdo magazine, which has been in confrontation for years with Islamists who accused it attacking their religion.

Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said terrorism and increasing Islamophobia in Europe were "inter-connected".

"We must fight against increasing racism, xenophobia and Islamophobia in Europe which threaten all our values. We must also fight against any form of terrorism," Cavusoglu told reporters in Ankara.

The minister said Islam was a "religion of peace", adding: "It is not a correct approach to associate Islam with terrorism."

© 2015 AFP

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